It was my special day. I was turning 7 years old and my mum said I could have a salah party on my 7th birthday.
“Leyan, since you’re turning 7 and you’re a big girl now it’s time for you to start practising salah with us! I want you to start by choosing one salah to pray every day for the next 6 months. Every 6 months until you’re 10 we will add a salah until you can pray all 5 prayers with Mum and Dad. I’m so excited for you Leyan! And I’m so curious which of the 5 salahs will you choose first, will it be Maghrib because it’s 3 racket, or will you choose Asr so you can pray together with me when you come back from school, or will it be Duhr so you can pray with your friends at school? Will it be ‘Isha so you, Baba and I can pray together, or Fajr so you can get up in the middle of the night?!”
“Oh Mummy! This is a hard one! I’m not sure, can you choose for me?”
“Oh Leyan, I would love to but this is your salah journey and you can do it! Anyway think about it and you can announce it at your party later!”
I was so excited for the party it was going to start at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. All my friends were going to come.
“I can’t wait Mama! Is it 12 o’clock yet?!”
“Not yet, missy!” said Mama.
I was going to get my new salah dress and salah mat. My friends and I were all going to play outside. It was going to be spectacular! By 11 o’clock I was ready! My dress, my hair, my nail polish were all perfect!
“Mama what can I do now?” I asked.
I wanted to help her do everything! Mama had worked so hard to decorate outside so that my salah party would look beautiful!
“Leyan my dear, can you come outside with me to lay the sweets on the table?” Mum replied.
I raced out the door.
“Err..shoes please!” Mum snapped.
I ran back to grab my purple shimmery shoes which matched my dress.
As I walked out the door, SPLAT! I felt a drop of water on my face!
“Mama! What was that?!” I shrieked.
“What was what?! Oops!” she said.
SPLAT! Another drop fell from the sky!
“Mama! It’s starting to rain!” I whimpered.
“I thought you said the weather was going to be perfect! My party is ruined!”
“We checked the weather forecast Leyan. They said it would be sunny and it hasn’t rained in a week!” Mama said.
Mama looked up at the sky and said “Ya Rabee laka alhamd”.
She kept repeating “alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah”.
I was cross! “Why are you saying alhamdulillah when its raining?! My party is ruined!” I sobbed.
Baba came inside and said, “Since it’s raining what do you want to do?”
Mum said, “Khair! It’s all good! Alhamdulillah, we will do it inside the house.”
“I don’t want to do it inside!” I yelled.
“I want to play in the garden and have a picnic! And how am I going to do that inside?!”
They both held me tight and said, “Leyan, we understand that you’re upset right now. You’re upset that it’s raining and it might look like your party is ruined, but when something doesn’t go your way you say alhamdulillah and try to find another way. Allah loves you and wants you to be happy, especially because we are celebrating salah! Something which Allah loves. So insha’Allah He will give you something better. You have to be patient.”
Baba said, “Give me your hand let’s run in the rain and grab all the things from outside.”
I held his hand reluctantly. With the rain and tears mixed on my cheeks, I didn’t know how my party was going to be fun anymore!
I was mad at Mum and Dad for repeating alhamdulillah and I was mad at the rain and I wondered, why did Allah do that?! Why did Allah make it rain?!
The door bell rang. The first guest was here. It was my auntie. Khala was so warm and lovely. She put on some nasheeds and started to help us decorate the front room.
The room sparkled with glitter and began to look nice. Not as nice as the outside I thought to myself!
Khala told me that when it rains your prayers are answered super fast! So I closed my eyes with her and we made a prayer.
“Ya Allah, please let my party be really really fun!” I said.
I started to feel a little bit better and we laid out all the prayer mats before the other guests arrived.
My friends started to arrive one by one and they didn’t seem too upset at all! In fact they were so happy they didn’t care about the party being inside. Things felt better already. We played games, laughed, ate and made prayer mats together! I was having so much fun I forgot about the rain outside!
“Guys, look! A rainbow!” Shouted Maryam.
My eyes lit up! The rain had stopped and Baba had opened the patio doors so we could all go play outside!
We ran happily! Oh I was so happy! It was perfect!
My friends and I had so much fun. It was even better than the party I planned!
That’s when my Mum whispered, “See Leyan, we plan and Allah plans. And His plans always work best! So always say alhamdulillah even when something doesn’t go your way because Allah’s plans are the very best!”
I cuddled her and smiled. I understood what Mama was saying now. “Alhamdulillah” I said.
“Now are you ready to tell everyone which salah you’re going to start with?”
“Errm..I think so!”
“Everyone!” said Mum.
“Everyone, please gather around. Leyan would like to share with you all which salah she will be practising first.”
“So Leyan, which salah is it going to be?”
Yay! Everyone clapped and cheered.
“Why did you choose that one?” Mum asked.
“Because I want to pray together with you and Baba and because it’ll be easy, it’s only 3 rak’at!”
Baba said, “Let’s all raise our hands and ask Allah to bless Leyan’s salah journey and accept our salahs and our children’s salah! Everyone say Ameen!”
“Aameen!” They all shouted.
What a wonderful day it turned out to be!
Remember you plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners!
So, which salah will you choose to start your salah journey with?
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